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Can ‘Hebb’ Be Distracted? Testing the Susceptibility of Sequence Learning to Auditory Distraction
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, CA.
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, CA.
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, CA.
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, CA.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Cognition, E-ISSN 2514-4820, Vol. 1, no 1, article id 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sequence learning plays a key role in many daily activities such as language and skills acquisition. The present study sought to assess the nature of the Hebb repetition effect - the enhanced serial recall for a repeated sequence of items compared to random sequences - by examining the vulnerability of this classical sequence-learning phenomenon to auditory distraction. Sound can cause unwanted distraction by either interfering specifically with the processes involved in the focal task (interference-by-process), or by diverting attention away from a focal task (attentional capture). Participants were asked to perform visual serial recall, in which one to-be-remembered sequence was repeated every four trials, while ignoring irrelevant sound. Whereas both changing-state (Experiment 1) and deviant sounds (Experiment 2) disrupted recall performance compared to steady-state sounds, performance for the repeated sequence increased across repetitions at the same rate regardless of the sound condition. Such findings suggest that Hebbian sequence learning is impervious to environmental interference, which provides further evidence that the Hebb repetition effect is an analogue of word-form learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 1, no 1, article id 7
Keywords [en]
Hebb repetition effect; Sequence learning, Auditory distraction; Serial memory; Irrelevant Sound; Word learning
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25987DOI: 10.5334/joc.8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-25987DiVA, id: diva2:1172845
Note

This work was supported by discovery grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Counci lof Canada (NSERC) awarded to François Vachon and to Jean Saint-Aubin. This collaborative work also received support from the Québec/New Brunswick University Cooperation in Advanced Education and Research Program of the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.3886/E101179V1.

Available from: 2018-01-11 Created: 2018-01-11 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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